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Regular meetings with probation officer - purpose?


Regular meetings with probation officer - purpose?

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Star
Star
Supreme Being
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Hi everyone, I was sentenced in early March this year to a 12 month community order (following a guilty verdict for a breach of a restraining order) with 100 hours unpaid work to complete (finished before July) and I understand I am required to undertake monthly face to face visits with my probation officer until February 2019 at least.  It must be stressed I have no issue with this.  I guess this arrangement is to ensure I continue to toe the line and report any changes, issues, difficulties, etc.  But is there any other reason for these meetings?  Is there something I'm overlooking?  Any comments from those with more experience than me would be very welcome. 

AB2014
AB2014
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Star - 7 Nov 18 1:22 PM
Hi everyone, I was sentenced in early March this year to a 12 month community order (following a guilty verdict for a breach of a restraining order) with 100 hours unpaid work to complete (finished before July) and I understand I am required to undertake monthly face to face visits with my probation officer until February 2019 at least.  It must be stressed I have no issue with this.  I guess this arrangement is to ensure I continue to toe the line and report any changes, issues, difficulties, etc.  But is there any other reason for these meetings?  Is there something I'm overlooking?  Any comments from those with more experience than me would be very welcome. 

Well, I'm on licence rather than a community order, but the official line seems to be supervision with a view to assessing your rehabilitation. At the same time it is a box-ticking exercise, in that their assessment system has various aspects to your life and attitudes that they need to take into account, rather than just "Are you doing your unpaid work?" I've read posts on this forum about people being told not to attend probation any more as there is no need for it, but my probation officer told me yesterday that they've recently had new instructions to stop doing that. Even lifers now have to go back to monthly reporting in person rather than periodic contact every few months. I suspect the government, and especially the Secretary of State, feels the need to show that they are Doing Something.
Thorswrath
Thorswrath
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You've got the jist of it. If you have a nice probation officer it will become like having a good friendly chat and providing you are making an effort and not being obstructive.

I've had some good officers personally and they have helped me a lot. Early on you will talk about the offending, what influences were there etc and things you can do to turn things around but after that process it's much like checking in and having a little chat about what's happening in your life.

BenS
BenS
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My probation was stopped early without me even asking for it to be! As Thorswrath said, after a while it was just going in once a month for a nice easy chat about life in general.

I was very lucky to escape my local stigma by getting a job but in another part of the country so it required moving house. I was upfront with the police and probation and checked whether it was OK for me to take the job. I always assumed I would be transferred to a probation office in my new area. But on a visit with my then-current probation officer, she told me that they had applied to get my probation order removed and a judge had accepted it and rubber-stamped the paperwork in chambers, no court publication or anything.

I was almost sad in a way because it was a nice cosy chat in a safe environment with someone who understands.
Star
Star
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Many thanks everyone for your replies, they are useful.  Recognising this may reflect my personal state of mind I don't find these chats particularly useful or supportive.  My officer was recently changed since I was deemed to be a low risk offender and was passed onto someone who seems to adopt a patronising attitude to my situation.  While I answer all the questions put to me she has accused me of being defensive and to be fair, perhaps that is correct.  However, I am completely terrified of saying anything since my words seem to be taken and twisted back into something far more significant.  For example - I mentioned how I was cautious about what I said to my neighbours about where I worked since someone may innocently pass this on to my immediate neighbours (we live in a semi) who have made the harassment allegations against me.  In fact the wife (apparently) stormed in my workplace when all the troubles blew up in 2013 and (metaphorically) torn the place apart when making (unfounded) complaints about me.  My Head of Department was tamping with the unreasonable attitude and the top brass had to get involved before the wife backed off.  I really can't afford a repeat episode with my current employer who have been incredibly supportive.  Hence, my efforts to limit any sensitive information.  The reply from my PO was to say what a shame I didn't think anyone was trustworthy.  Ur, not quite ...  I thought I was being discreet??  Anyway, my next visit is scheduled for Tuesday (only 2 more after that and my order terminates) and I'm simply dreading it since I feel my words will be scrutinised to the nth degree.  This feels largely like a tick box exercise.  Since I'm in part time employment, no dependency issues, no anger management issues, no debt issues. I get the feeling my PO just simply HAS to find something to focus on and use it to wear me down.  Oh well, I'll need to do some deep breathing exercises before I go in.  Thanks again.
GO


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